May 17, 2021  
Rensselaer Catalog 2014-2015 
Rensselaer Catalog 2014-2015 [Archived Catalog]

Communication and Rhetoric Ph.D.

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The mission of the Ph.D. in Communication and Rhetoric is to enable students to make a contribution with rigor, depth, and creativity on issues related to Communication in Technologically Mediated Contexts.

For over 30 years, our graduates have been the leaders in the study of the relationship between communication and technology. As new forms of technologically mediated communication emerge, research and scholarship are needed to describe their nature and account for their unique effects. We are uniquely positioned to provide an environment for graduate study in communication in technologically mediated contexts. We combine the resources of a premier technological university with a faculty strongly grounded in theory and research as well as technology and media.

The key to the Ph.D. in Communication and Rhetoric is its multidisciplinary nature. This program draws from numerous disciplines across the humanities, the social sciences, and the arts. Students in the Ph.D. program in Communication and Rhetoric take advantage of this multidisciplinary base to design dissertation projects that are both innovative and rich. In the Ph.D. program in Communication and Rhetoric, all students complete a two-course core, two methods courses, and at least three graduate seminars. Students may also take up to three application courses in areas such as graphics, human-computer interaction, hypermedia, Web design and development, or writing. With this structure, our program is highly tailored to the individual career goals of each student. Students who join the Communication and Rhetoric community are expected to become active researchers and scholars. All students must have at least four public presentations, publications or grant proposals prior to completing the degree.

Ph.D. students also have numerous opportunities to further their teaching. All students teach under the direction of a faculty supervisor. The program values professional service and offers graduate students opportunities to undertake important service obligations to the department and community. Students are supported through teaching and/or research assistantships. Students in the program are also very competitive for university-level fellowships.

The Ph.D. in Communication and Rhetoric requires satisfactory completion of 90 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree, which includes an appropriate master’s degree, which will be counted as 30 of the required 90 credit hours. After completion of an appropriate master’s degree, students are required to take 36 credit hours of course work at Rensselaer. Some Plans of Study may require additional course work beyond this 36 credit-hour minimum, typically not to exceed 42 credits. More information about this program can be found at



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